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‘BBA Live’ Podcast – Year 2 Ep #11 – MLB Wk 5 ’16: New York State Of The Unions: Mets Are Hot – Yanks Are Not

Ricky Keeler and AC Wayne host the flagship podcast of the BBBA!

BBBA Live is the flagship Podcast of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance since 2015.

Hosts Ricky Keeler

& AC Wayne

BBBA Live! is in its second season. Listen in as AC Wayne is again joined by Ricky Keeler of Yanks Go Yard and District On Deck (Nats).

Yankees are struggling and may have to reel off a bunch of wins soon or risk being a seller near the Trade Deadline.

Meanwhile the Mets are hardly losing at all. 

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New York Yankees Must Make Changes to Take Advantage of Their Greatest Asset

The New York Yankees entered 2016 with questions surrounding both the rotation and starting lineup, but nobody questioned one spot of the roster: the bullpen. Dellin Betances,Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman would combine for a three-headed monster of potentially historic proportions.

Games against the Bronx Bombers would basically be over before the seventh-inning stretch. Right?

While Chapman is still serving his 30-game suspension and hasn’t debuted yet, a sluggish April has prevented New York from utilizing what we all figured would be its greatest strength.

General manager Brian Cashman has toed the line between getting younger and remaining competitive for quite a while and has done a great job. He found Derek Jeter’s successor in Didi Gregorius and despite not signing an MLB free agent this past winter, he made what appeared to be solid additions in Chapman, Starlin Castro and Aaron Hicks.

However, the one thing on Cashman’s to-do list that he couldn’t cross off was finding depth (or just better options) for the starting rotation. He even sacrificed some depth by sending Adam Warren to the Chicago Cubs in the Castro trade. This area was a cause for concern, but there seemed to be enough positives where an overwhelming bullpen would make up the difference.

It hasn’t.

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WATCH: Two Elite Throws, But Whose Was Better, Aaron Hicks or Yasiel Puig?

Outfielders were showing off their cannons during this past week in Major League Baseball. Aaron Hicks recorded the fastest throw in StatCast history at 105 MPH and Yasiel Puig barehanded a ball and skipped the cut off man to throw out Trevor Story at third base. Both of these throws were elite, but now it is your turn to decide which one was the best. Click the link below to see the videos and please vote!

 

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Odds To Win The MLB 2016 World Series + Best And Worst Bets

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. Especially if they can coordinate a couple of trades (Pitching for hitters).

The Mets made it to the World Series in 2015 after a subpar start heading into the Trade Deadline. With a ton of pitching and some decent positional players still on the roster, they could set themselves up for a lengthy run in the NL East. Especially if they can coordinate a couple of trades near the Trade Deadline.  While they may have started slow, the bats are alive and well, and the rotation should come around soon.  They are this week’s best odd.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

The Nationals asserted themselves on this leaderboard thanks to a quick start.  They were my 2nd best bet last week at +1100.  Now the odd at +650 is not worth any money at all.

Since Washington was able to play so well, this has created the perfect storm to put some more cash on the Mets.  At +1300, New York is just begging for a wager.

The strength of schedule to which the Nats have played has definitely factored in.  2 series versus the Braves and Marlins and one against the Phillies already, Dusty Baker‘s club has had about a ‘cupcake itinerary’ as you possibly could find.

It gets better for the District’s squad, as they go home for another series with Philadelphia – that comes on the heels of a weekend Interleague series versus the Twins.

If Washington wins those 2 series, they should be about 15 or 16 wins after 22 games.  They should cement themselves in the playoffs with an easy NL East opponents schedule all year.  I just want to see them play some tougher clubs.

The Mets offense has sprung to life behind the backs of Yoenis Cespedes, Neil Walker, David Wright and Michael Conforto.  When the Pitching Rotation settles in a little bit, they should take off.

While Washington is leading the Division, they have yet to face the NL reigning pennant winners.  The division win could come down to the 19 contests between the two clubs.

Terry Collins‘ team has 16 straight games versus squads with losing records.  While the Giants are capable of contending all year, New York should be able to match them well for pitching. Read the rest of this entry

WATCH: New York Yankees’ Outfielder, Aaron Hicks, Throws A Ball 105.5 MPH To Home Plate For The Out

In case you haven’t seen or felt the breeze from this throw, New York Yankees’ outfielder, Aaron Hicks, gunned a runner out at home plate tonight by throwing the ball 105.5 MPH. This is the fastest recorded throw by MLB Statcast in baseball history. The previous high was by Houston Astros’ outfielder, Carlos Gomez, at 103.1 MPH. Not only was the velocity of this throw impressive, but it was right on the money to tag Danny Valencia out at home to save a run. While this throw did save a run, it wasn’t enough as the New York Yankees lost to the Oakland A’s, 5-2.

 

To see the video of the throw, click the link below:

 

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Bryce Harper Will Sign The Biggest Contract In Major League Baseball History In 2019

Bryce Harper is on a mission in 2016 to prove he is the best player in Major League Baseball. Heading into the season, many people thought Mike Trout was the best in the game (not me, as you can see my argument in my previous article posted prior to the season:“Fantasy Baseball Dynasty King, Mike Trout or Bryce Harper?”), despite Harper’s incredible 2015 campaign at the age of 22. During the 2015 season, Harper hit .330 with 42 home runs, 99 RBI’s, 118 runs, 6 stolen bases, and a .460 OBP. Those impressive numbers led to his third all-star appearance, first Silver Slugger Award, and his first National League Most Valuable Player Award. While this season is in the record books, Bryce Harper plans to rewrite those exact record books in 2016, as he prepares to sign the most expensive contract in Major League Baseball history in 2019.

 

To read the rest of the article and see the projection for Harper’s contract in 2019, click the link below:

 

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MLB Power Rankings 2016: Week 2 – April

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Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

The Cubs will top our list for a second straight week despite losing 2 out of 3 games to the Rockies at Wrigley Field this weekend.  The biggest reason is the pitching.

Jake Arrieta is 3 – 0, and has picked up right where we he left off in 2015, and Jon Lester has thrown awesome too.  The Bullpen has also been good.

The bats are too solid not to come around and gel as the season moves along.  They are playing .750 baseball after a 4 – 2 week still.

Bryce Harper is the best player on the planet, and has homered in 6 straight contests at Citizens Bank Ball Park (4 overall in a row for the MLB this year.)

Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg. Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy are their top players – and all performing like it, the rest of the club is following through in their secondary roles.  This team is scary.

I have the Royals as the top American League club.  This squad is 8 – 1 in games that are not started by back end of the rotation man Chris Young.

The reigning 2 time pennant winners have company on the top of the Division to make it interesting, however this team has the better pedigree the last few years.

Some may say with a weekend series win – that the Dodgers should be put in front of the Giants, yet they are still only one game ahead of San Francisco.

With the Giants – there is no real weakness, while with the Los Angeles team, the Bullpen is not giving everyone confidence in the back half of games.

The Dodger Blue is still in the top 5, so I am high on them. Kenta Maeda could be the steal of the winter with how this guy is throwing so far.  Reinforcements are starting to come back. Read the rest of this entry

Tanaka Will Miss Over A Years Worth Of Work In 7 Season Contract From ‘TJS’ Avoidance

Pitching with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm since july of 2014, the Yankees and Tanaka's camp have avoided having Tommy John Surgery thus far, but how far can they go in avoiding the procedure. I also make the point that even if the Yankees ace somehow eludes the injury for the duration of his 7 year contract - that the fans are only seeing him at 85 - 90%. I thought the move was to have TJ Surgery have been able to turn it lose upon returning.

Pitching with a partially torn UCL in his pitching arm since July of 2014, the Yankees and Tanaka’s camp have avoided having Tommy John Surgery thus far, but how far can they go in avoiding the procedure? I also make the point that even if the Yankees ace somehow eludes the injury for the duration of his 7 year contract – that the fans are only seeing him at 85 – 90%. I thought the move was to have TJ Surgery in 2014, and upon returning from it, he would be able to turn it lose like an ace should.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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What is better:  5 Years and an average of 200 Innings Thrown, or 6 years of throwing 150 – 165 IP?

The diagnosis of Masahiro Tanaka‘s slightly torn elbow was first disclosed in July of 2014.  Had he gone for Tommy John Surgery there for  repair, he could be back at full strength right about now in time.

Instead of going ahead with a procedure (that is operating at about an 86% rate of full return for pitchers,) the Japanese born Tanaka has been nursing the injury since the start of the 2015 season.

Having signed a 7 year deal worth $155 MIL – that also included a $20 MIL posting fee, the Yankees were hoping to land an ace that could pivot their rotation from 2014 – 2020.

While it is amazing the man can even throw with this lingering issue, Tanaka authored a great WHIP of 0.994 and a respectable ERA of 3.51 in 24 Game Starts during 2015.  Here is the problem though, he missed 2 months of the season when his elbow flared up.  Read the rest of this entry

M’s Get Blanked Tuesday: 22 Teams Left In 2016 MLB Shutout Survivor + MLB Runs Scoring Survivor Update

Equally as poor, and in a 5 game losing themselves, the Mariners were also blanked last night 8 - 0. Seattle is now 0 - 5 at home, and can't buy any hits on home turf. 7 runs in 5 games is not the way to start your campaign at Safeco Field. This is not foreign territory for the Mariners, who routinely have the worst batting numbers at home every year. Playing games versus AL West counterparts the A's and Rangers - they have posted just an .486 OPS while at home

The Mariners were  blanked last night 8 – 0. Seattle is now 0 – 5 at home, and can’t buy any hits on home turf. 7 runs in 5 games is not the way to start your campaign at Safeco Field. This is not foreign territory for the Mariners, who routinely have the worst batting numbers at home every year. Playing games versus AL West counterparts the A’s and Rangers – they have posted just an .486 OPS while at home in 2016.

Chuck Booth (BBBA President/Majority Owner – mlbreports.com) 

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A quick start by Robinson Cano has quickly faded into a Batting Average of .182.  Dae-Hoo Lee and Adam Lind have collected just 3 hits in the eight total contests thus far.

Kyle Seager and Ketel Marte have provided little punch from the Left side of the infield.  I expect Seager to turn himself around, but I was one to always question why the franchise didn’t go outside the squad to bring in a new veteran shortstop.

Both clubs were eliminated from MLB Shutout Survivor, and must get their lineups back in order, or they will also fall way back in MLB Runs Scoring Survivor too, having picked off all of the low run scoring totals.

The Padres were blanked for a 4th time in 8 games, and still only have 3 different variations on their season.  This is tied with Tampa and Detroit for the fewest marks off the scoresheet, but they have played one more game than the Rays and 2 more contests than the Tigers, so they are ranked 30th in this competition.

Chicago continues to lead the movement to all 11 runs scored scenarios, with having plated a different amount of guys in every single game thus far.  All they need to complete this competition are run totals of 0, 1, 3 and 8.

Oakland, Texas, Arizona and Colorado have 6 out of the 11 run totals, but they all need to knock off some of the higher totals – unlike the Cubs. Read the rest of this entry

MLB Power Rankings: Week 1 Results – April 2016

The Cubs are the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 World Series, butcoming year.

Hunter Stokes (BBBA Featured Writer) 

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Disclaimer:  We based these rankings on best strength to win the World Series.  Therefore some teams that have an easier division to play in, with the least path of resistance to the postseason overall may be ranked a lot higher than a club who is equally talented, yet may play in a juggernaut of a division.

Team – Rank (W – L Record) (Last week ranking in parenthesis)

(1) Chicago Cubs  (5 – 1)  (1):  The Cubs weathered the loss of their slugging OF Kyle Schwarber this week – by taking 5 of the 1st 6 games played, and all on the road.  After these 6 contests – the squad is outscoring their opponents 42 – 15.

Love the idea of setting the table with Dexter Fowler, Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist 1-2-3 prior to the boppers coming after in Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant.

Having the 2015 NL ROY may help Rizzo win the NL MVP this season.  He had 10 RBI this week – including a 6 RBI effort.

Jake Arrieta is already 2 – 0, and this team shows no signs of slowing down.

(2)  KC Royals  (4 – 1) (2):  This club just knows how to win with the dominant Bullpen and clutch hitting.  They have only yielded 11 runs thus far, and this team has not even hit huge strides on offense yet.

The AL Central is better in 2016 there is no question, however KC will be ready to take them on.  There may not be a more filthy Late Inning Reliever right now than Wade DavisEdinson Volquez has picked up right where he left off in 2015 as well. Read the rest of this entry

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